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MESSAGE BOARD / Dec. 5, 2002

In recent weeks, a contrite Cardinal Bernard Law has made emotional apologies for his handling of abusive priests and met with members of a lay Catholic group he had previously shunned. But archdiocesan personnel files released this week have exposed glaring new instances of church negligence and provided more evidence that Law knew of abuse allegations against priests who were allowed to remain on active church duty for years. Facing an estimated 450 abuse claims, the archdiocese may declare bankruptcy. In light of this week's revelations, what are your feelings on the church crisis? Has Law lost the moral authority to lead the archdiocese? Where must Boston Catholics look for leadership? And what should be done to address the church's financial crisis?

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Page 19

I remember several years Sinead O'Connor tore up a picture of the Pope while singing Bob Marley's song War. She did this in protest of the same kind of abuse going on in Ireland. EVERYONE was outraged and wanted to burn her at the stake for tearing a picture of the Pope. And now everyone is upset about priest abusing kids. And it ironic...

JS, Boston, MA

As a recoverung Catholic,I too am in shock about all of the goings on.I think we need to recall those files are letters of complian,allegations. If you work in the ublic sector you know rumors,letters and false complaints arise,this is not meant to minimix=ze the valid claims.The Church in this country has the right to file bankruptcy,and Should,the lawyers have played it out in the media,where is there a fair juror to be found. Perhaps the lawyers are afraid of Ch 11 as they'll loose millions.Sorry but I cannot swallow after watching this all that those lawyers are concerned about their clients, they are more like the pide pipers,blowing for more Allegations to come forward. Yes Cardinal Law should resign, the anger,both justified and misplaced have minimilized his effectivenees,He must be man of faith to stay so long trying to sort this it out,right now he could turn water into wine nad they'd still read another meaning into it. As a recovering cathoilc, the medias'constant coverage which is needed but the motivation behind it has become clear,I actually sent the church acheck for the first time in years. I am starting to grow up in my 40's seperating the men from the Church,I am on way back ,Slowly.

Rick, Northwood 12/06/2002 08:53 AM If someone you know commits a crime and you somehow help them, whether its actual help or just not doing something to help the law enforcers when you could have - aren't you then guilty of a crime? please explain to me why Mr. Law is not being prosecuted.

Skott, Allston

I have an idea for the financial crisis issue, why doesn't the church sell off some of the valuable property it owns. The Catholic religion is not about riches but you would not know it looking at some of the churches. Build condos in one of those places sell a few stain glass windows and raise millions for these poor victims. Stop asking for my donations to support these awful crimes. I will contribute again when Law goes to jail. A Catholic

Ben, Medford

First of all, please stop referring to Law as a Cardinal, this criminal is a sick, perverse member of one of the most corrupt organizations in this country. For so many years these priests have hid behind their collars convincing the flock that they would burn in hell if they died with a mortal sin on their soul. At the same time, these priests were committing some of the most heinous crimes and covering them up by paying hush money or relying on the fact that no one would believe the victims that someone of such holiness would committ such crimes. Why are their so many sickos that are attracted to the catholic church? Well, what normal, healthy male would become part of an organization that does not allow marriage or sex?? These people become part of the church because they know that they can molest kids, do drugs, and whatever else they are doing and get away with it. Why Law hasn't been indicted with other Bishops is flabergasting? Where is tom O'Reilly?

Mike, Boston

I am now 42 years old and I remember my mother telling me, many years ago, to be weary of the ALL priests. Her advice stems from similar scandals-priest children molestation--when she was a little girl. I'm not surprised at the magnitude of this scandal it's been going on for centuries! Should Law go to jail? YES! Should celibacy be stopped? Absolutely! Church declare bankruptcy? NO! I have to stop here because the more I think about this issue the more infuriared I get.

Rene', Franklin

Cardinal Law should not "step down" - he should be forcibly removed from power, and he should go to jail for the rest of his miserable life. Burning at the stake would be too kind for this wretch. Allowing the Boston archdiocese to claim bankruptcy, and be propped up by tax dollars to pay for the consequences of their misguidance, is an incredible and disgusting insult. The Catholic church has grown ludicrously rich over the centuries by way of systematic rape and pillage and disrespect for the rest of the world; let them use that filthy money to pay for this filthy scandal.

Chris, Brookline, MA

Resign?! Cardinal Law should be in jail. How can he live with himself knowing all the lives he allowed to be destroyed. What is the difference if I knew my child was being molested by someone I knew!? If I didn't do whatever it took to have that person put away, and my child far away from the danger, than am I not failing as a parent!? Cardinal Law has failed as a human being.

Kristin, Framingham

I am a member of the Knights of Columbus. Several months ago the Knights of Columbus lent the Archdiocese of Boston over 12 million dollars to keep afloat after a bank that the archdioecese had a loan with called the loan in because donations to the archdiocese were down. My council went so far as to send a letter to the Supreme Council condemning the behavior of the church and requesting that no loan be made to the church to cover the sex scandal. While the loan does not specifically go towards paying victims of the sex scandal, there are no real restrictions on how the money should be spent. Also, it seems to allow the church to take the money from one pocket to pay for the scandals and put the loan money back in the same pocket. After reading further reports about the scandal which seems to be geeting worse as time goes on and we can all see the lying that is going on in the Boston Archdiocese, I am asking to all Brother Knights, what are you and/or your council now thinking about the behavior of the church, in particular Mr. Law? I say it's time to replace Law and it's well past time for the all Knights of Columbus councils to make a strong statement to the Supreme Headquarters to speak out stronly aganst the "coverup" that is really going on. Your response is welcomed.

Tim, Columbia, Maryland

I think that Cardinal Law is a dangreous man. he runs his dioses like a profitable business and sees filing for bankrupty as a way out of paying for those poor souls who had the unthinkable acts of molestation carried out on them. He is an abomination. In my opinion is only concerned for his position as a powerful figure and the feelings and healing of those victims who had their dignity soul and faith in humankind stolem from then in such a horrific way are just something that he wished never came to light( What an inconvinience). They will spend their whole lives tying to be normal now, have normal relationships and have some self esteem. It is all well and good now to say sorry AFTER the truth has come out. If the revelations never happened then I am more then certain that Mr Law would be still covering up and facading the Boston church as previously done. As regards the bankrupsy .... I visited the vatican just over a year ago and was in awe at the wealth the gold and ruby crosses the museum of artifacts form all over the world ( beside the obvious art of michaelangelo and raphael) ( huge egyptology section and more) The truth is there is a mountain of wealth in the catholic church...........let the pope sell one of thoese jewels and give back to the damaged lives destroyed by the padeophiles in the priesthood. I am a catholic raised in Ireland and beleive me this does not just stop in Boston, it is in every catholic country in the world.

Anne, Watertown

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